Family Produces 7000 Pounds of Organic Food Per Year on Their Tenth of an Acre Lot in LA
A particular family in California has taken into the next level. They are growing 7000 pounds of organic produce on a tenth of an acre. They are supplying 90 percent of their diet spending only $2 a day per person on other staples. They are also making $20,000 a year of their excess food.
They are living only 15 minutes from downtown LA and 100 feet from a major freeway on a five-acre lot. Outside of their house, garage, and driveways, the created a little food forest on their property when they grow 7000 pounds of organic produce a year.
They Created a Dream Using Permaculture
To create this dream come true and live in such abundance, they are using permaculture methods. Permaculture is a way of farming that uses strategies that mimic mother nature. Instead of stripping the soil, permaculture actually regenerates.
Jules Dervaes moved to his Pasadena home in 1985. At the time there was no soil there only adobe-like clay. With the help of his family, they worked hard to create good soil using rock dust, chicken and goat manure, fermented compost and effective microorganism. They don’t use fertilizers at all.
Since their space is small, they use a modified version of square foot gardening that they call square inch gardening. They plant everything as close to possible to save water and prevent possible evaporation from the soil. They try to make symbiotic arrangements when possible. For example planting bigger veggies, such as broccoli or peppers with a carpet of greens works really well. This technique also requires less maintenance than other forms of gardening.
When they first began their adventure they didn’t think that this would be the result. They didn’t plant to make their fixer-upper house a forever home either. However, once he decided to make something useful out of his lawn, he really got into it. He learned about the danger of GMOs and pesticides. He realized how much food he could grow on his little plot and started using every square inch possible, horizontal and vertical spaces, the front and the backyard. There were no real models, so he just did what he thought would work. The end result is a fantastic biodiesel and a sustainable way of living.
Their house is also solar powered. Talk about living in a self-sustainable way in the city. It’s very inspiring.
You Can Grow Your Own Food Too
I bet you feel more inspired now to grow your own organic food. If you don’t have your own yard or garden space, there are some things that you can grow indoors, including herbs, tomatoes, and pepper. You may be able to rent a plot in a local community garden or join a CSA supporting farmers growing organic food for you.